Meet the sisters
Consultant Storyteller Photographer Aunty
Consultant Graphic Artist
About Your syilx Sisters
Your syilx Sisters made its presence in this world on 02-22-2022.
Kelsie Kilawna (Marchand) and Lauren Marchand, sisters, were born and raised in nk̓maplqs in their community of the Okanagan Indian Band. They grew up in a family of artists, storytellers, creatives, scholars, dreamers, singers, hunters, gatherers, ranchers, and caretakers. Raised by their father with the support of their grandmothers and aunts, they learned that healing as a people starts with the individual first, then families, community, Nation, and the many worlds beyond.
The sisters spent years in their grandmother's art studio which is where they first learned captikwl (oral storytelling laws) through art and embodiment practices. It was a form of knowledge transfer that allowed the sisters as children to feel one with the stories that belonged to the land they were born in.
Growing up with a collective worldview and in a family where love was at the center of all engagements, the sisters knew why they were gifted the art of storytelling in all of its forms. It was to continue to enact their responsibilities to the land and people by reminding everyone of their value within the collective, a teaching shared in their captikwl.
Kelsie Kilawna (Marchand), partner of Your syilx Sisters was formerly Cultural Editor and Senior Aunty at IndigiNews. Her role was to support decolonizing practices and policy, editing all stories so they are trauma-informed and culturally aware. She also supported all storytellers (reporters) in engaging in trauma-informed practices while in the field. Additionally, she developed training specifically geared to the media industry around how to be responsible guests telling Indigenous stories on Indigenous homelands in a way that honours protocol and considers settler positionality. In one year, she trained over 1500 journalists, communication specialists, governing bodies, and community folks. She developed this training with her in-depth knowledge and expertise in trauma-informed practices.
Since then, she and Lauren Marchand, co-owner, further developed the training gearing it towards a broader audience. They are engaging anyone who wants to learn how they can create impact through honouring cultural protocols in their communication and information delivery.
Lauren Marchand is the company's graphic artist and illustrator who has been nurtured throughout her life to embody syilx ways of being while engaging in her art practices. Coming from an academic background where she studied human development, she also gained knowledge of trauma-informed practices. She has a lifetime of learning about the power of storytelling through visuals and brings that knowledge to the training and mentorship of the sisters' client base.
She is gifted in conflict resolution and uses her expertise in the spiritual understanding of individual life journeys related to the world to find unique ways of working through complex situations and topics. Her patient nature makes her a great mentor for folks who so they feel empowered to honour the learning path ahead of them in whatever direction that might be.
In recent years Lauren found herself unexpectedly changing courses after discovering her daughter was diagnosed with childhood leukemia. Leaving her community to take care of her daughter in the BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver for several years left an impact on her. It brought forward teachings she needed to learn on this life's journey, proving that all things don't happen to you, but happen for you. Her own experiences of disconnection had led her onto a healing journey where she began to understand the critical importance of what it means to feel safe, understood, and seen in whatever community surrounds you.
The sisters created the company out of necessity from the prophecy stories that we are now in a time where we must learn to listen to one another. It's become increasingly more important that people being to honour their gifts and strengths and use those to grow as a collective consciousness. It is time for settlers to know they too have responsibilities here, and that all people must go into the awareness of their responsibilities together.
They call themselves sisters for two reasons, they're actual sisters (eeeh), and once they've accepted you as a client, they are genuinely there to support you in your learning journey without judgment, much like a big sister. Their big sister responsibility to their siblings are given to them through their teachings and stories and guides them in the importance of developing a genuine kinship with those they work in unity with.